Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fugitive Thong Sarath arrested in Vietnam

Fugitive Thong Sarath arrested in Vietnam

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A screenshot pictures tycoon Thong Sarath pleading to Prime Minister Hun Sen to re-investigate the murder case against him. FACEBOOK

Fugitive Thong Sarath arrested in Vietnam

Fugitive tycoon and murder suspect Thong Sarath was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday night.

The real estate developer and okhna, the prime suspect in the November 22 murder of Shimmex Group chairman Ung Meng Cheu, was arrested by Ministry of Interior Internal Security police acting in conjunction with Vietnamese authorities, police said.

“He was arrested in accordance with the court’s warrant for his arrest, and was arrested by our Ministry of Interior’s Internal Security Police forces in collaboration with Vietnamese police in Vietnam on Thursday night,” Internal Security chief Major General Seang Sen told the Post on Friday morning.

“After his arrest, he was sent for overnight questioning at the Ministry of Interior, and he now has been transferred to Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters, where they are preparing documents to send him to court,” he added.

Colonel Eng Sorphea, chief of the Serious Penal Police Unit in Phnom Penh Municipal Police, confirmed that Thong Sarath was still being detained at Phnom Penh Municipal Police Headquarter in Phnom Penh.

“He now was still being questioned by municipal serious penal police. We will send him soon to Phnom Penh Municipal Court after completing of his questioning,” he said.

In the aftermath of the Meng Cheu shooting, Sarath was quickly accused of masterminding what appeared to be a gangland-style hit on his business rival.

Five of Sarath’s bodyguards were arrested in the ensuing days, which featured a bizarre press conference in which Sarath’s parents, Keo Sary and Tan Sok, boasted that they told their son “to escape”.

Sarath himself released a series of videos from hiding in which he appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen to intervene on his behalf.

Sary and Sok were later arrested and face illegal weapons charges stemming from a police raid that uncovered a number of guns at property owned by the family.

The couple were subsequently granted bail – an act that led to the removal of then-Phnom Penh Municipal Court president Ang Maltey from his position – only to be caught near the Vietnamese border in an alleged attempt to flee.

The couple at the time claimed they were simply going for one of Sary’s routine medical checkups.

Charged with premeditated murder, Thong Sarath faces a potential life sentence if found guilty.

Neither Sarath nor his lawyers could be reached for comment on Friday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the